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Automated apple pickers lead the way as orchardists seek to alleviate labor shortages

USDA has announced website features to help small growers with H-2A applications and farm loans but broader H-2A rule changes are yet to come from U.S. Department of Labor.

Crop projections several years out are seen as beneficial by the Washington Apple Commission which will ask the Washington State Tree Fruit Association to consider picking up the task.

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Tariffs impeding apple exports are discouraging to the Washington apple industry, but India appears to be bowing to U.S. pressure to negotiate improved trade relations.

Seven members of Washington’s apple industry talked to legislators about issues at the U.S. Capitol at part of U.S. Apple Association’s Young Apple Leaders program.

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Growers are left dealing with higher labor costs and trying to get the U.S. Department of Labor to change its ways after a judge refuses to pull agricultural foreign guestworker minimum wages …

More than 90 apple growers from several states lobbied legislative offices for quick passage of USMCA which, they say, is crucial to keeping robust apple exports to Mexico and Canada.

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Agritourism activities currently allowed on Oregon wineries and cideries would be extended to on-farm breweries under a bill approved unanimously by the Senate on March 12.

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Southcentral Washington ranchers feel its unfair for the state to terminate grazing and farming leases early to lease land to solar farms. A bill aimed at restricting that is struggling in the…

It’s the time of year that shortening supply, particularly on a small crop, causes Washington apple prices to begin increasing. So far that’s not happening largely because of a big drop in exp…

Washington state’s congressional delegation wants the U.S. to push for better apple access to Japan when trade negotiations start soon. Washington produces about 67 percent of U.S. apples and …

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OLYMPIA — The Senate Ways and Means Committee has endorsed new fees for Washington farmers who hire H-2A foreign guestworkers, passing a bill that has drawn more vocal opposition from agricult…

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A Yakima labor attorney gave employers tips at the Washington Growers League annual meeting and said arbitration agreements must be understood by employees signing them to be binding.

Washington growers were allowed to use 24,862 H-2A-visa foreign guestworkers last year, mostly in tree fruit. An attorney reviewed other legal ways of getting foreign farmworkers at a recent meeting.

The first of three new Oregon Solidarity wines, a rosé made with Rogue Valley grapes stranded just before last fall's harvest, is nearly ready to hit store shelves.

Many agricultural leaders say a Democratic bill to give legal status to farmworkers isn’t going anywhere without including guestworker reform. An immigration attorney says they might be wrong.

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The use of piece-rate pay in Washington state has been under attack since a state Supreme Court ruling last May that employers must pay workers an hourly minimum wage for non-productive time l…

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Halos and Cuties are the top two brands of mandarins increasingly catching the eyes and palates of grocery shoppers in the last few years. Smartly marketed they’re proving competitive to apple…

David Granatstein has spent a career looking at alternative ways of farming always with the intent of lessening its impact on the environment. He says his greatest contribution has been helpin…

A bill to improve water management and supply in the Yakima Basin passed the U.S. Senate, Feb. 12, less than a week after a companion bill was introduced in the House.

Companies could produce fewer than 100,000 gallons of cider on Oregon farmland without locating near orchards under a bill that’s drawn fire for potentially disrupting agriculture.

Given the small size of the 2018 Washington apple crop, wholesale prices should be better, a leading marketer says. Price negotiations and reduced exports are to blame, he says.

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An upcoming proposed rule change would allow employers of H-2A-visa foreign guestworkers to recruit domestic workers for the first 30 days instead of the first half of their use of H-2A workers.

A company in Bakersfield, Calif., says it has developed a new large-fruit cherry that would be excellent for replacing Chelan as an early variety in the Pacific Northwest.

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The USDA has awarded $200 million to 57 commodity groups across the country for export promotions to help offset damage from retaliatory tariffs. Soybeans received the most. The Washington App…

Cherry growers from nine countries are meeting to talk about combining funding for research on health benefits of cherries for uniform messaging.

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A federal judge heard arguments regarding returning the minimum wage for H-2A-visa foreign guestworkers to 2018 levels but it may be days or weeks before he rules.

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Scientists at Washington State University say woody plant cellulose nanocrystals look promising for protecting tree fruit buds from frost damage.

Mike Willett, a peach picker 50 years ago who retires as an industry leader this summer, was chosen cherry king of the year by Northwest Cherry Growers.

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Oregon hazelnut industry officials are pushing for greater markets in the U.S., especially as the number of mature orchards is expected to double in the next three to four years.

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Diamond Fruit Growers of Hood River, Ore., hopes to debut Gem, a new pear variety, in limited volume in grocery stores next fall.

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While vastly outspent in domestic promotions by other produce like mandarins, grapes and avocados, Pear Bureau Northwest is reaching millennials with digital coupons, social media and partneri…

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A much larger pear crop, more competition and loss of the China market have all caused Washington pear prices to drop significantly so far in this sales year.

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The estimated loss of Pacific Northwest cherry exports to China in 2018, due to Chinese tariffs, has been revised upward to $106 million. An industry leader fears more loss this year.

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A U.S. District Court judge in Washington, D.C., has set Jan. 28 to hear arguments on a preliminary injunction to halt increases in the minimum wage for agricultural foreign guestworkers.

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Washington apple crops sales and prices remain steady and good but would be better, one economist says, if exports were not hampered by tariffs.